While the Kentucky Derby is the best known horse racing event in the United States, a month prior to the Derby, Liverpool, England will serve as the host for a very different, yet equally exciting horse racing spectacle. The 2013 John Smith’s Aintree Grand National Hunt race is the world’s most popular steeplechase event.
Originally held at the Aintree Racetrack in 1839, the 2013 event is slated for April 6th and serves as the culmination of the three-day Aintree Festival.
The Grand National provides a unique set of challenges that only the best jockeys and horses can conquer.
The racecourse is triangular in shape and includes 16 fences, all except The Chair and the Water Jump are jumped twice. The course has a reputation as the ultimate test of horse and jockey, and just completing the two circuits is considered a great accomplishment. Some of the fences are famous for their difficulty, most specifically Becher’s Brook, The Chair, and the Canal Turn.
Unlike the Kentucky Derby and American Triple Crown, which includes the best three-year-old horses, the Aintree Grand National is typically won by a horse with far more years and experience.
In 2012 11-year-old Neptune Collonges, ridden by jockey Daryl Jacob for trainer Paul Nicholls and owner John Hales was able to conquer the challenging track and claim victory in the Grand National. He was the oldest winner of the Grand National since 12-year-old Amberleigh House in 2004.
The oldest horse to win the Grand National was 15-year-old Peter Simple in 1853. Since 1994 the youngest horse to win the race was eight-year-old Bindaree in 2002 and the race has been won 12 times in that stretch by a horse with double-digits in the age column.
For many, one of the great allures of this annual event is the many betting opportunities and certainly the recent history of older winners is one thing for those who enjoy betting on this exciting event to consider as they ponder which horse and jockey they will support. Through William Hill Grand National 2013 you can watch all the races of the three-day festivities through livestreaming and also keep track of the latest betting odds and opportunities.